CRC806-Database Publications Feed (RSS) Publications feed of the CRC806-Database Extremely low Population Densities and uninhabited Areas: Research on Population Dynamics of our Ancestors Demographic studies are rarely concerned with prehistoric population developments. This is likely due to the difficult data situation. However, for this section of human history in particular, demographic factors are essential in modelling: the spread of anatomically modern humans, the appearance and disappearance of cultures and new economic spheres can only be explained against the background of population dynamics. The project E1, CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe“, has been investigating demographic processes among glacial hunters and gatherers since 2009. Thus, in conjunction with data on the Neolithic in the Rhineland (project LUCIFS, University of Cologne), an overview of the population development in Europe over the last 40,000 years has been compiled. 2021-05-03T10:34:36+02:00 Human Adaptations to the Last Glacial Maximum: The Solutrean and its Neighbors The book assembles new insights into humanity’s social, cultural and economic developments during the Last Glacial Maximum in Western Europe and adjacent regions. It gathers original, up-to-date research results on the Solutrean techno-complex, reflecting four major fields of research: data from current excavations; analysis of lithic assemblages; new results from studies on climatic conditions and human-environmental interactions; and insights into artistic expressions. New methodological and analytical approaches are applied, providing significant contributions to Paleolithic research beyond the Last Glacial Maximum. 2021-05-03T10:26:54+02:00 The sunny side of the Ice Age: Solar insolation as a potential long-term pacemaker for 3 demographic developments in Europe between 43 and 15 ka ago After a decade of research under the auspices of the project ‘Population dynamics: Land use 18 patterns of populations between the Upper Pleistocene and Middle Holocene in Europe and 19 the Middle East’, a consistent sequence of high-resolution palaeodemographic datasets has 20 been compiled, spanning the entire Upper Paleolithic from roughly 43 to 15 ka ago. When 21 viewed in a diachronic perspective, long-term trends of increasing and decreasing population 22 sizes and densities, as well as expanding and contracting areas of settlement activities (Core 23 Areas) become evident. An environmental parameter with potentially strong impact on 24 hunter-gatherers societies is solar insolation. The sun’s energy available at a certain time 25 and place is one of the main factors influencing plant growth. The amount of plant biomass, 26 in turn, largely determines the amount of animal biomass in a landscape. The latter is the 27 most important source of energy for European Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers. Here, we 28 aim to assess the potential influence of changes in solar insolation on palaeodemographic 29 development in Western and Central Europe between 43 and 15 ka ago. To this end, we 30 present estimates on the number, density and spatial distribution of hunter-gatherers for five 31 consecutive Upper Paleolithic periods in Europe. Based on regional climate model data for 32 the Last Glacial Maximum and solar insolation data, we calculate (1) differences in the 33 amount of Megajoule per square meter (MJm-²), (2) start, end, and length of the growing 34 season, as well as (3) summed temperatures during the entire duration and during the first 35 30 days of the growing season. A comparison shows that a moderate, steady increase of 36 population size and an extension of the Core Areas between 43 and 29 ka coincides with an 37 increase in the summed temperature, particularly during the first 30 days of the growing 38 season. The period between 29 and 25 ka shows a pronounced population decline, a strong 39 contraction of Core Areas and a withdrawal from higher latitudes. This coincides with a 40 markedly delayed growing season, a decrease in summed temperatures, and a marked 41 reduction in solar insolation during the early part of the growing season. Between 25 and 20 42 ka, we see consolidation and renewed growth in both numbers and densities of people and 43 an expansion and merging of Core Areas in Western Europe. There is a slight gain in the 44 energy available during the first half of the year. The growing season starts earlier and is of 45 increasingly longer duration, coupled with rising summed temperatures. Between 20 and 15 46 ka, the meta-population grows strongly, Core Areas expand and the higher latitudes become 47 repopulated. This coincides with further increasing summed temperatures and an ever-earlier 48 start to the growing season. Additionally, the gain in available solar energy during the early 49 phase of the growing season is particularly pronounced. These findings indicate that solar 50 insolation and its effects on an ecosystem’s phenological configuration over different trophic 51 levels is indeed an important factor in the long-term demographic development of Paleolithic 52 hunter-gatherers. 2021-04-26T08:56:32+02:00 Human Existence Potential in Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum Archaeological records indicate that many regions in Europe remained unoccupied by hunter-gatherers during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), probably due to the harsh climatic conditions and glacial extent. In the populated regions of southwestern Europe, a new technocomplex, the Solutrean, is known to have emerged among hunter-gatherers but did not reach the regions east of 10° E. To better understand human occupation of Europe during the LGM, Human Existence Potential (HEP) is presented, which expresses the suitability of a region with given environmental conditions for habitation by hunter-gatherers. We estimate the HEP based on archaeological site locations and reconstructed climate/environment data. By geostatistically up-scaling archaeological site distributions into Core Areas, we distinguish areas that were likely to have been continuously occupied by hunter-gatherers from areas intermittently occupied. The use of Core Areas in the model improves the description of regions of continuous human presence, removing some of the previously observed mismatches between reconstructions and archaeological records. Using HEP, important anthropological and archaeological questions can be studied. Environmental Human Catchment (EHC) and Best Potential Path (BPP) are applied to quantify an area of HEP attraction and the lowest-cost path between two areas, respectively. With these tools, we characterize the potential connections between the Core Areas, the environmental barriers and possible social and technological interactions. A clear difference in environmental adaptation is found between the populations in western and eastern Europe, with a significant climate barrier preventing the propagation of the Solutrean to eastern Europe. 2021-04-26T08:49:35+02:00;;;;; Approaching prehistoric demography: proxies, scales and scope of the Cologne Protocol in European contexts In many theories on the social and cultural evolution of human societies, the number and density of people living together in a given time and region is a crucial factor. Because direct data on past demographic developments are lacking, and reliability and validity of demographic proxies require careful evaluation, the topic has been approached from several different directions. This paper provides an introduction to a geostatistical approach for estimating prehistoric population size and density, the so-called Cologne Protocol and discusses underlying theoretical assumptions and upscaling transfer-functions between different spatial scale levels. We describe and compare the specifics for farming and for foraging societies and, using examples, discuss a diachronic series of estimates, covering the population dynamics of roughly 40 kyr of European prehistory. Ethnohistoric accounts, results from other approaches—including absolute (ethno-environmental models) and relative estimates (site-numbers, dates as data, etc.) allow a first positioning of the estimates within this field of research. Future enhancements, applications and testing of the Cologne Protocol are outlined and positioned within the general theoretical and methodological avenues of palaeodemographic research. In addition, we provide manuals for modelling Core Areas in MapInfo, ArcGIS, QGIS/Saga and R. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Cross-disciplinary approaches to prehistoric demography’. 2021-04-26T08:44:49+02:00